State Capital Group - News & Publications


SCG Legal Newsletter
March 2018


Legal Employment Contracts for Second Straight Month

The legal industry employed 200 fewer people in February than in the prior month, despite positive job growth for the U.S. economy as a whole, according to data released March 9th by the U.S. Department of Labor. In its monthly look at the nation’s employment situation, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 1,135,700 people worked in the legal services sector in February. The legal industry figures are provisional, meaning they could be revised later, and seasonally adjusted. The legal services data cover lawyers, paralegals, legal secretaries and other law-related professions. The February results mark a 200-job decline compared with the revised BLS data for January, a month in which the legal industry employed 1,200 people fewer than in the final month of 2017.


Law Firm Recruitment Activity Steady, But Summer Programs Shrink

After a period of considerable volatility following the recession, a new study finds that entry-level law firm recruitment has stabilized. The National Association for Law Placement’s survey, “Perspectives on 2017 Law Student Recruiting,” examined recruitment activity on law school campuses and job fairs last year and found those efforts remained mostly steady compared with the prior year, despite robust recruitment by some firms. Following the near collapse of recruitment efforts by law firms following the recession, firms have revived their activities and summer programs to capture talent. Big Law recruiting volume and practices, according to the data collected by NALP, are now on par with those efforts implemented before 2009. Even so, the survey found that for the second year in a row the aggregate summer offer volume decreased compared to the year before. Forty-three percent of law firms that responded to NALP’s surveys said that they had made fewer offers for the 2018 summer programs than they did for 2017 summer programs. As a whole, offices in New York City made fewer offers for summer programs while Silicon Valley remained flat.


Brand Rankings Show Law Firm Alternatives' Growing Clout

In the same week that it released its annual roster of top U.S. law firm brands, Acritas issued an inaugural annual ranking of U.S. alternative legal services providers by brand dominance. Thomson Reuters, publishers of SCG Legal’s Lobbying Handbook, topped the list, landing first in all three index measures: awareness, favorability and innovation. Internally, Acritas brand researchers have tracked U.S. alternative legal industry players since 2013. During that time, awareness of the rivals to traditional law firms has grown. To compile its rankings, Acritas researchers conducted 276 interviews with respondents with primary responsibility for buying legal services for organizations with $1 billion or more in revenues. Respondents were asked to “name organizations that provide legal services, excluding law firms that first come to mind, along with those they most favored.” The other companies in the top five after Thomson Reuters were Axiom, LexisNexis, Deloitte Legal and PwC Legal.